An die Hoffnung Op 94
To Hope


Is there a God? Will he fulfil, one day,
The expectations of our tearful yearning?
Will this mysterious being
Reveal itself on some Judgement Day?
Man must hope – he should not be asking!

You that delight to celebrate on festive nights,
Diffusing gently and softly the sorrows
That afflict a tender soul,
O Hope, may he who suffers, his spirits raised by you,
Sense that on high an angel
Does count his tears.

When beloved voices, long departed, are heard no more,
When in a desert of dead branches
Memory sits in desolation,
Then approach the one you have forsaken
Who grieves, engulfed by midnight,
Seeking support from sunken urns.

And if he lifts his eyes to rail against his fate
As the last departing light of his days fades away,
Then, on the horizon of this earthly dream
Let him perceive a cloud, its edge agleam,
Lit by a nearby sun.